“The Brady Bunch” production often allowed its young cast to make choices for their characters, such as wallpaper during a renovation episode. But allowing the cast to choose caused unintended problems behind the scenes.
The Brady Bunch house was often under renovation. It helped make the show seem realistic to audiences and also made for laughs as well. During the episode “My Brother’s Keeper,” the Brady’s decide to redecorate the room of the family’s girls. To add a bit of realism and for better results, series creator Sherwood Schwartz allowed Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb, and Susan Olsen to decide the wallpaper.
And they ended up choosing something that was hard to film against. It would be an issue considering the wallpaper would stick around past the episode for continuity reasons.
“Maureen, Eve, and Susan had picked out a design that was hard to shoot,” Schwartz said, according to MeTV. “Bob Hager, the cinematographer, asked me to change it to something less extreme.”
‘The Brady Bunch’ Wallpaper Problem
“The Brady Bunch” stars went through several different wallpaper choices. All three girls eventually decided on a yellow wallpaper. It featured numerous yellow flowers in its design and was a nightmare for the cinematographer to film against. He asked “The Brady Bunch” creator to choose something that was a bit more filmable.
Schwartz faced the difficult task of breaking the news to the young actors. And it went about as well as he expected. The actors felt crushed by the news and reacted poorly.
“They were hurt,” Schwartz said in the book. “I had asked them for their opinion, and it didn’t seem to matter.”
Not wanting to crush their creativity, Schwartz decided that the wallpaper would have to do. He told the cinematographer that the show would make do with the yellow flower wallpaper. He asked the cinematographer to do his best.
“I went back to the cinematographer and asked if he could live with it. He grumbled, but he reluctantly agreed,” Schwartz said.
And so ultimately, the actors and their creativity won a victory. They got to keep the wallpaper that they picked out for the show. It showed that “The Brady Bunch” creator valued their opinion and their input on the show. He wasn’t afraid to stand up for his actors, even if it resulted in a somewhat hard-to-film room for the cinematographer.